Sunday, October 29, 2017

The Sunday Post #11



Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted  @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme


I finished up PT for my broken arm this past Friday, so I may give bowling a try again soon to see if I can get back to the league I was in.  Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-thon was back on 10/21 and that was another great one.  Here is my participation post if you want to see how I did!

I'm thinking about going to another session of the Library Book Club, they do a breakfast, lunch and dinner.  I enjoy it so much that I may go to the dinner session as well!  I can't decide if I want to just show up, or ask the librarian in charge of it if that's weird, to go to multiple sessions per month.  I kind of think I'm not the only person who does that, since many of them seem to be older ladies, a couple are voracious readers, so I bet they already go to more than one.  We'll see!





Reviews:

The Tethered Mage by Melissa Caruso - reviewed for Netgalley.

Charmed to Death by Shirley Damsgaard - reviewed for the My TBR List Meme

Onyx Webb Book 1 by Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz - reviewed for fun



Features (otherwise known as ALL THE VOTING!):

Polls:
 
I've started a poll feature to last from now until the end of the year where you will help me pick what my best reads were!  Each week I will have a poll that lists the books I read in a particular month for you to vote what my best read that month was.  At the end of the year, I will run those 12 in a poll against each other, and when we have a winner I will host a giveaway for that book!

Even if you haven't read any of them, please vote on the one that interests you the most!

January's winner was Vicious by V. E. Schwab

Here is February, it could use more votes!:  February Best Read Poll

March could use more votes as well! March Best Reads Poll

Please Vote! 



The Polls for My Best Reads of April and May

The November Round of My TBR List

Hopefully a review or two!




I received these through my subscription boxes (Uppercase, Owlcrate and Pagehabit):


Physical books I bought: None this week

Kindle deals, freebies and Prime checkouts (which may or may not still be freebies or on sale):



Netgalley Approvals:



Library Books:





Friday, October 27, 2017

Onyx Webb Book 1 by Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz

Description:

Delectably Creepy. Gripping. Fascinating.

Onyx Webb is a multi-genre mash-up that combines supernatural suspense, crime, horror, romance, and more. So the story... Onyx Webb is a ghost. Billionaire playboy Koda Mulvaney becomes obsessed with a girl he sees inside a mirror. Juniper Cole is on her way to the prom and... well, we don't want to spoil anything - we've probably told you too much already. How all these events are related is part of the mystery that is, Onyx Webb.

The Onyx Webb series follows the unusual life of Onyx Webb along with a central group of characters in various locations and times. The billionaire Mulvaney family, piano prodigy Juniper Cole and her brother Quinn, paranormal show hosts Cryer and Fudge, and a few others make up the core of the series. Written like a book version of a supernatural soap opera (think: American Horror Story) each character’s story moves forward with most every episode.

It may appear that the characters are entirely unrelated and yet episode by episode, the connections will become clearer. Like being an inch away from a spider web, with each book, the web will move further and further away revealing the full story of every character and most importantly, the stunning conclusion for Onyx Webb herself.

First of all, oh my goodness that cover! I was so glad I was reading this on my Kindle instead of actually holding a physical copy because this spidery cover just undoes me!  Luckily the story itself is not full of spiders, at least not yet, though who knows what is in store for us in future episodes!  This books collects the first 3 episodes into 1 book, there are 10 books in all with 32 total episodes.  They are available through Kindle Unlimited currently if you have that, or for around $3.99 each book.

I picked up the first one on hearing how much a friend was enjoying them, and though skeptical (she's much more into horror than I) gave it a try this week, it being the Halloween season and all.  There are many characters, all of them very different and well written, so that even though it is a lot to keep track of, they are all different enough that I didn't get confused.  You quickly get a feel for each scenario.  Add to that the fact they are occurring in different time periods throughout a roughly hundred year time frame, which adds another level of curiosity at how they are related to each other. 

I appreciated the very short, action packed chapters, and the ability of the authors to keep you hooked while doling out the tidbits of story.  As a non-horror fan I can report this was not too much for me, yet, and while murdery and twisty things happen, I was more intrigued than squeamish.  I'm in for the rest of the story because I need to find out how all of these people end up related!

Good find DragonGoddess! Thanks!

Onyx Webb Book 1 on Amazon

Charmed to Death by Shirley Damsgaard (October TBR List Pick)

Description:

Ophelia Jensen's good witch granny Abigail revels in her paranormal powers. But Ophelia never asked for her bothersome psychic abilities -- especially since they proved worthless when the thirty-something librarian's best friend Brian was murdered by a still-unknown assailant.

Now, five years later, another friend is gone, killed in almost identical fashion. Even dear old Abby isn't safe, distracted as she is by her fight to prevent a massive, mega-polluting pig-farming operation from invading their small Iowa town. And Ophelia can't count on her snarling, scoffing nemesis, police detective Henry Comacho, to get the job done, so she'll have to take matters into her own hands. Because a common thread to the crimes -- and a possible next victim -- is suddenly becoming troublingly apparent . . . and it's Ophelia Jensen herself!


It has been so long since I read the first book, I apparently wasn't even tracking anything on Goodreads yet. Luckily you get enough back story and the current story is contained enough that it wasn't a problem for me. While the plot does revolve a lot around Ophelia's past, everything you need to know is explained.

I adore the covers of this series as they all feature a black cat in a spooky setting. Unfortunately that is pretty much where the cat-ness ends, other than the fact that Ophelia has a pet black cat, Queenie, she doesn't feature in the stories other than being present when Ophelia is at home. That is my biggest pet peeve with cozy mysteries is how many of them feature cats on the cover as a hook to lure you in, then the cat, or maybe there isn't even a cat at all, has nothing to do with the action.  I pretty much harp on this every time I find it in my cozy reading, and I think even mentioned it to this author, Shirley Damsgaard when she was doing a question answer session on a friend's blog!  I actually ended up winning this copy, which is signed, from that!  As I recall Shirley validated my complaint, agreeing that often the publishing company will feature cats in the artwork, because they know it sells books! Anyway, moving on! LOL!

Ophelia gets to explore more of her powers and her heritage in this second book, where she receives more visions, learning to use them more fully, and is gifted with some tools of an ancestor by her grandmother Abby.  While I do enjoy the magical aspects of the story, Ophelia and Abby's abilities, I had figured out the culprit pretty quickly, which I don't usually do.  In spite of that, it's still an interesting plot layout, and the background issue of the pig farm is relevant to small town rural areas, if not appealing.

I don't remember if Comacho was in the first book, as he is more related to the original murder of her friend that happened before the first book takes place, that is what she's trying to get away from.  He's a great character, because of course every heroine needs a handsome guy to drive her crazy, and he definitely does.  He is convinced she's hiding something (of course she is) and he's determined to find out what it is (because of course he is), which leads the two of them to grudgingly work together where they get to know each other better (because of course they do!).

In spite of the lack of cat-action, it is a solid series that keeps my interest, and I'll definitely be reading the rest, which I already own, because I love the covers!  Seriously, they are super artwork, I wish I had them poster sized!  They were definitely cover covet buys. ;)




Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Tethered Mage by Melissa Caruso

Description:

In the Raverran Empire, magic is scarce and those born with power are strictly controlled -- taken as children and conscripted into the Falcon Army.

Zaira has lived her life on the streets to avoid this fate, hiding her mage-mark and thieving to survive. But hers is a rare and dangerous magic, one that threatens the entire empire.

Lady Amalia Cornaro was never meant to be a Falconer. Heiress and scholar, she was born into a treacherous world of political machinations.

But fate has bound the heir and the mage. And as war looms on the horizon, a single spark could turn their city into a pyre.

Publication Date: October 24th, 2017
Imprint: Orbit Books
Publisher: Orbit
Genre: Fantasy
Received From: Netgalley in exchange for honest feedback
My Rating: 5/5

The Tethered Mage is full of politics and intrigue, plots and deceptions, magic and determination. The setting gives the feel of a collection of Italianate city-states in structure with different rulers over different cities coming into conflict with a potential rebellion on the horizon as the general backdrop to the story.

Amalia Cornaro is the daughter of one of the Council of Nine, intended to take her mother's place on the council eventually, her whole life thus far has been surrounded by the intrigues of court.  She would much rather have her nose in a book, puzzling out artificing projects and remaining blissfully unaware of the Council's working, though she knows that is not to be.  She likes to travel the city incognito, and it is during one such escapade that in trying to do a good deed, she accidentally links herself and Zaira together forever in a way that neither expected or wanted.

Zaira is difficult and uncooperative from the very beginning.  Amalia tries to make the best of a bad situation, but despairs that Zaira may never come around to the partnership they need to have.  Even so she continues to try and find ways to make Zaira's life better and earn her trust.  It is this unlikely pairing of personalities that drives the development of Amalia's character.  She is an heiress that has never wanted for any luxury, and has taken the Falcon/Falconer relationship for granted as part of life, though she had no thought of being one herself.  When confronted by someone who feels trapped and compelled against their will to accept this magical and physical binding, rather than being grateful to be raised in circumstance, it is confusing for her and she must alter her world view.  This willingness and desire to understand and accommodate is what made Amalia an attractive character to me.  She matures through the story from a daughter who follows her Mother's every order, to a strong young woman who will be capable of taking her place on the council some day, making her own decisions and standing firm for what she believes in.

There were some side characters that I hope we see more of in future books, I always enjoy when the secondary characters engender that interest in me.  This was a very satisfying historical feeling fantasy that I'm looking forward to continuing in the next book due out next year, The Defiant Heir.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Dewey's 24-Hour Read-a-thon - October 21st, 2017


It's that time of year! I've lost count of which read-a-thon # this is for me, but that's not the important part anyway! I will update throughout the day here with what I'm reading and with challenge answers. Have a great day everyone!




I'm getting a late start this morning, but that extra sleep was definitely needed! First up I'm going to finish the last 50 pages of Charmed to Death. - finished!




Next up, I have this from Netgalley and it will be coming out soon so I need to get busy and finish it!



Time to procure some lunch! Since the husband is having to work here at home, I'll be listening to my current audiobook, Origin while out and about!



Taking this Doctor Who short story with me for waiting on lunch to be ready, featuring Doc #9, The Beast of Babylon by Charlie Higson
Challenges:

10 years, 10 books (in progress)
2007: Magic Bites (Kate Daniels #1) by Ilona Andrews
2008: Grimspace (Sirantha Jax #1) by Ann Aguirre
2009: Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
2010: Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder
2011: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
2012: The Dalai Lama's Cat by David Michie
2013: Indexing by Seanan McGuire
2014: The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg
2015: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman
2016: A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas
2017: The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas

Sunday, October 15, 2017

The Sunday Post #10



Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted  @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme


Nothing much going on thankfully, I had Book Club hosted by our local library today, yes, the one I was spying on before. I really enjoy it, I'm so glad I started going, officially! ;)  Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-thon is next Saturday 10/21, so I'm looking forward to that!



Let me see, this is going to cover a lot of weeks since the last time!

Reviews:

No review this time, just lots of voting below!

Features (otherwise known as ALL THE VOTING!):

The Winner of My TBR List for October is Charmed to Death!
 
Polls:
 
I've started a poll feature to last from now until the end of the year where you will help me pick what my best reads were!  Each week I will have a poll that lists the books I read in a particular month for you to vote what my best read that month was.  At the end of the year, I will run those 12 in a poll against each other, and when we have a winner I will host a giveaway for that book!

So I was going to close it last week, but I have a tie, so I'm going to leave it open until I don't!:  January Best Read Poll

Here is February, which I posted last week and it will stay open through today, it could use more votes!:  February Best Read Poll

And the new poll for March Best Reads, please check them out and vote, I'm interested to see how this month turns out, some interesting books pitted against each other! March Best Reads Poll

Please Vote! 



Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-thon is next Saturday, I can't wait!




Only one ARC from the library book club meet up this time:


I was looking everywhere for a copy of Practical Magic, apparently so was everyone else!  I finally ended up getting it from Audible!


I received these through my subscription boxes (Uppercase, Owlcrate and Pagehabit):


Physical books I bought:

None this week, thought it was a near thing, I did go in a bookstore and not buy anything myself!

Kindle deals and freebies (which may or may not still be freebies or on sale):






My Best Reads of 2017 - A Poll Off - March Reads

It's always hard to decide what the best books you've read in a year are.  We can look at our ratings, but those may change depending on our mood. It's really hard to compare some of those books against each other, especially when you've read them months apart, or they are on completely different subjects.

I'm going to have a friendly competition between the books I've read this year and see what YOU think was my best read in 2017.  I'm going to post a poll for each month of the year, with the books I've read in one list for you to vote on, so that by the end of the year, I'll have 12 books for a final poll to decide what the best book I've read this year was, according to you! There may even be a giveaway at the end!

Starting the first week of October, I will post a month's worth of books every week to be voted on, with the winner for that week going on the final list.

Here are the books I read in March, covers and links to Goodreads will be below the poll itself so you don't have to scroll if you already know your answer!  It's okay if you haven't read any of them, just pick the one that sounds the most appealing to you!


Create your survey with SurveyMonkey


by Jeff Dixon
by Amie Kaufman
by Ta-Nehisi Coates
by John Lewis
by George Saunders
by Katherine Arden

by Jacky Donovan

by J. K. Rowling


by Maggie Stiefvater

by Jackie Kessler

by Chimimanda 
Ngozi Adichie
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